The term "sleaze" as applied to disco goes back to the mid-70s, and was used to describe the slower, often vocal-lead tracks that DJs would spin toward the end of a party, in many cases in the early hours of the morning. The always informative Horse Meat Disco guys used the sub-genre as an inspiration for one of the discs on their third compilation with us, and there is of course an ongoing and healthy debate taking place online as to what technically is and isn't bona fide "sleaze."
As Dennis Citizen Kane (the man behind the Disques Sinthomme / Ghost Town labels, one of our favorite DJs in New York, and another great source for disco history and information) is launching a new club night at the Soho Grand this Friday featuring some authentic sleaze sounds, we thought we'd take the opportunity to have him share some of his favorites.
Says Kane: "These songs are not ranked in any specific way, they are just 10 great sleazy jams, they all have tremendous atmosphere and great sonic palettes. All of them convey such an intense mood and intimacy, elegant, erotic, exotic, and modern."
Sleaze to Please - 10 sleazed-out jams selected by Dennis Citizen Kane
10 Pino Presti - Disco Shitan
9. Shock Taktix ~ Morocko
8. Puccio Roelens - Northern Lights
7. Jo Dassin - Le Jardin Du Luxembourg ( TeeTwo Mariani Edit )
6. Night Creatures - That's the night
5. Crystal Bird - Tunnel
4. Francis Lai - #1
3. Marti Cane - Love the way you love me
2. Bob Chance - Jungle Talk
1. Double Fantasy - Food for fantasy
Early on in Strut's existence, we created the Music for Dancefloors series in order to mine the fertile territory of production library music for under appreciated (and often extremely hard to find) gems. Originally recorded as a source of go-to material for use in film, television and radio, library music wasn’t intended to be enjoyed in a home listening context, and often wasn’t available for commercial release at all. However, due to the quality of the musicianship and the stripped-down arrangements, music from the best libraries has become extremely sought-after by DJs and producers.
The UK's KPM library (especially its green "1000 series" of the 60s and 70s) is easily one of the most legendary sources of library funk. KPM music has been sampled by the likes of Jay-Z, DOOM, Madlib and Guilty Simpson, Dangermouse, Action Bronson, and even turns up in the opening of Quentin Tarantino’s film Kill Bill (via the Grindhouse promo spot which uses Kieth Mansfield’s “Funky Fanfare”).
Out of print for years, our Music For Dancefloors release collects some of the best of KPM's catalog, with an ear not just for loops and breaks, but quality compositions and performances that stand the test of time. We've included key cuts like Alan Parker’s ”That’s What Friends Are For” featuring Blue Mink’s Madeline Bell on vocals, Alan Hawkshaw’s “Senior Thump” (a precursor to his work as The Mohawks), and Keith Mansfield’s “Crash Course,” each one a classic in its own right.
This new edition features an exclusive bonus disc, which makes available for the first time the debut gig by the KPM All-Stars, bringing together many of KPM’s greatest composers for a unique night at London’s Jazz Cafe on 27th April 2000.
Music For Dancefloors: The KPM Music Library (Deluxe version) is released on April 2nd in three formats: 2CD (original studio recordings and live concert), 2LP featuring the original studio recordings and 2CD insert of the full CD content, and digital (original studio recordings and live concert). The album features the original sleeve notes by Charles Waring (Mojo magazine) alongside extra photos and memorabilia.
CD 1 – KPM LIBRARY CLASSICS
1. That’s What Friends Are For - Composed by Alan Parker. Vocals by Madeline Bell
2. Unlimited Love - Composed by Alan Parker
3. Funky Express - Composed by Duncan Lamont
4. Assault Course - Composed by Johnny Pearson
5. Samba Street - Composed by Barry Morgan and Ray Cooper
6. Second Cut - Composed by James Clarke
7. Swamp Fever - Composed by John Cameron
8. Reggae Train - Composed by William Farley and Dennis Bovell
9. Incidental Backcloth No. 9 - Composed by Keith Mansfield
10. Cross Talk - Composed by Francis Coppieters
11. In Advance - Composed by P. Xanten. Performed by Pierre Lavin Pop Band
12. Senior Thump - Composed by Alan Hawkshaw
13. Expo In Tokyo - Composed by Alan Moorhouse
14. Nascimbene - Interlude: Witchdoctor
15. Jungle Baby - Composed by H. Ehrlinger. Performed by Juan Erlando & His Latin Band
16. Morning 1 / Morning 2 - Composed by Klaus Weiss
17. Freeway To Rio - Composed by Les Baxter
18. Brazil Express - Composed by G. Callert. Performed by Juan Erlando & His Latin Band
19. Piano In Transit - Composed by Francis Coppieters
20. Crash Course - Composed by Keith Mansfield
CD 2 - KPM ALL-STARS LIVE AT JAZZ CAFÉ, LONDON. 27th April 2000
1. Keith Mansfield with KPM All Stars – Soul Thing
2. Alan Hawkshaw & Keith Mansfield with KPM All Stars – Theme from ‘Dave Allen At Large’
3. Alan Hawkshaw & Keith Mansfield with KPM All Stars – Beat Boutique
4. KPM All Stars – Swamp Fever
5. KPM All Stars – Unlimited Love
6. KPM All Stars feat. Emma Kershaw – That’s What Friends Are For
7. James Clarke with Steve Grey and KPM All Stars – Second Cut
8. Duncan Lamont with KPM All Stars – Funky Express
9. Alan Hawkshaw with KPM All Stars – Girl In A Sportscar
10. Alan Hawkshaw with KPM All Stars – Senior Thump
11. Alan Hawkshaw with KPM All Stars - Landscape
12. Alan Hawkshaw with Kirsty Hawkshaw and KPM All Stars – The Champ
13. Keith Mansfield with KPM All Stars – Crash Course
14. Keith Mansfield with KPM All Stars – UK Sports Theme Medley: Theme from ‘The Big Match’ / Theme from BBC Wimbledon Tennis / Theme from BBC Athletics / Theme from ‘Grandstand’
We love throwing parties in London: the incredible DJ talent, the lovely people, and, in the Tamesis Dock, an incredibly unique floating venue. We're particularly excited about our holiday party this year, which sees us returning to the Dock with a cracking line-up that is sure to make your Yuletides bright.
It's a pleasure to be linking up once again with Ashley Beedle. One of the most talented and adventurous selectors we know, Beedle goes way back with Strut. His Grassroots mix is one of the first releases on the label, and he has continued to share incredible sounds with us, through his Inspiration Information collaboration with Horace Andy in 2009. For the holiday party, he'll be laying down a set of classic soul and boogie. We asked him to give us a rundown of some of his all-time favorites to get you in the spirit. Here are "ten killers definitely shaking my tree this Xmas!" courtesy of the man himself.
1. Logg - You've Got That Something
2. Terrance T - Power
3. Average White Band / Ben E. King - Star Of The Ghetto
4. Slave - Spice Of My Life
5. Steve Arrington - You Meet My Approval
6. D Train - Keep Giving Me Love
7. GQ - You're The One For Me
8. Gwen Guthrie - Outside In The Rain
9. Gwen McCrae - Keep The Fire Burning
10. Sahara - Love So Fine
By 1986, Laswell's work for Celluloid became increasingly sparse as he was pulled onto major projects for Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, PiL and more. The label, meanwhile, continued its eclectic path with recordings by jazz legend Eric Dolphy, John McLaughlin and the Welcome To Dreamland compilation of out-there Japanese pop overseen by regular Laswell cohort, Fred Frith. African music also continued to feature heavily in the label’s later output through world pop stars like Kassav and Toure Kunda.
Change The Beat is released in conjunction with Jean Karakos and Celluloid Records. Formats include 2CD, 2LP and digital. All physical formats feature rare photos from the Celluloid Records archive and extended interviews with label owner Jean Karakos, Bill Laswell, Afrika Bambaataa, John Lydon, Rusty Egan (Time Zone) and more. The digital version of the album features five extra tracks not featured on the physical formats.
1. SHOCKABILLY – DAY TRIPPER 3.43
1. NINI RAVIOLETTE – SUIS-JE NORMALE 6.34
On 18th December, we return to the best little boat in London for the funkiest of festive parties. The maestro Ashley Beedle returns to the capital for an exclusive set mixing up rare and classic soul and boogie, Frankie Francis brings the unique Sofrito sound drawing from all manner of archive Latin American, Caribbean and Afro styles and Duncan Brooker spins a selection of fine soulful rarities of all shapes and sizes. We'll have some home made mulled wine on the go all night too. Hope to see you there!
The dance floor has always served, at least in part, as an ideal location for a potential romantic conquest. On the classic yet somewhat overlook track "Chit Chat," Cajmere goes slightly meta, showcasing his pick-up skills over classic house beat which likely provided the background to a number of real life conversations along the same lines. The Chicago producer (born Curtis Jones) recalls, "Chit Chat always makes me think of Tony Humphries because he showed that song so much love. It’s really because of him that the song became as popular as it did.” The track, along with two discs full of equally essential productions from the Cajual Records catalog, appears on Only 4 U: The Sound Of Cajmere And Cajual Records 1992 - 2012, out October 30th.
As if turning up rare footage of a Shark Vegas performance while going through the !K7 video archives wasn't fortunate enough, we've now been introduced to another Factory Records video obscurity, courtesy of Biting Tongues. The band have been generous enough to share a VHS-rip of the video for "Meat Mask Separatist," which appears on the Fac. Dance 02 collection. It's a great video, and also well worth reading the description which lists some of the recording techniques behind the song, including "early digital sampling using a BELL delay 's hold function (upright piano), loops of Belisha beacon, pyrex and kidney dishes & Lowenbrau shekere." Amazing.
Shark Vegas was a Berlin-based outfit, lead by Factory Records' German representative, Mark Reeder. Despite an excellent pedigree, including Bernard Sumner on the boards and the infamous Connie Plank recording, the group's music remains an overlooked entry in Factory's vast catalog, and performance footage of the group is extremely scarce. You can imagine our surprise then when we turned up this recording of a performance of the track "You Hurt Me," which also happens to appear on Fac. Dance 02, in a dig through the !K7 video archives. Call it synchronicity. From the lighting to the video quality to the instruments on stage, every element is perfectly evocative of the era. Fac. Dance 02 is out now.
One of the most rewarding parts of working on This Ain't Chicago was the ability to learn about the golden age of the UK underground party and acid house scene from the people who were a part of it. By virtue of the word of mouth nature of the scene, the inside story hasn't been widely shared in same manner as, say, accounts of the early days of hip-hop in New York. As a supplement to the music on the compilation (and the excellent liner notes by Dave Swindells), we sat down with some of the major players, including Lesley Lawrence of Bang The Party, P-Mac (producer for May), Kiss FM DJ Colin Faver, and of course Richard Sen, to speak about the parties, drum machines, labels, and drugs that inspired the music. These guys are a wealth of knowledge and talent, and it was an honor to listen to their stories.
This Ain't Chicago is available now:
iTunes • Amazon • Boomkat
Having explored some of the amazing house music coming out of the UK in the mid-80s on This Ain't Chicago it's a pleasure to come back to the city that originated the house music style, and to some of it's most notable practitioners. Only 4 U (out October 30th on double CD, double LP & digital download) collects two decades of music on Chicago's Cajual Records, including indisputable classics such as label founder (later to be known as Green Velvet) Cajmere's "Percolator" & "Brighter Days," all the up to fantastic music the label is still releasing today. The collection brings together the many shades of Cajual for the first time in a definitive label overview presented with rare photos from the Cajual Records archive and liner notes by Bill Brewster of DJ History.
1. CAJMERE - PERCOLATOR (Remastered Original mix) 4.44
2. CAJMERE - CONFLICT 7.17
3. CAJMERE - CHIT CHAT (Clubhouse remix) 4.33
4. CAJMERE feat. DAJAE - BRIGHTER DAYS (Louie’s Masters At Work mix) 10.41
5. CAJMERE feat. DERRICK CARTER - DREAM STATES 7.06
6. CAJMERE feat. TERENCE FM - FEELIN’ KINDA HIGH (Vocal mix) 5.21
7. DAJAE – GET UP OFF ME (Cajmere’s mix) 5.39
8. GEMINI – IF YOU GOT TO BELIEVE IN SOMETHING 5.26
9. DAJAE - DAY BY DAY (Chez ‘N’ Trent vocal mix) 6.04
10. CAJMERE - HOUSE-WERK (Original mix) 7.54
11. CAJMERE feat. WALTER PHILIPS – MIDNIGHT (Original mix) 4.44
12. DAJAE – U GOT ME UP (Danny Tenaglia’s Club version) 8.05
1. GLENN UNDERGROUND – BEYOND 10.00 – UK jazz dude
2. GEMINI – LE FUSION 6.17
3. JOHNNY FIASCO – TAURUS 6.49
4. BRAXTON HOLMES presents JOHN REDMAN – PEOPLE EVERYDAY (12” mix Basement Boys Style) 10.32
5. ADAM – MOMENTS IN TIME 8.00
6. G.U. – THE WHEEL 7.31
7. DEEP SENSATION – GET TOGETHER (Deep Vocal mix) 6.41
8. ANDRE HARRIS – I CAN’T TAKE IT (Andre’s Original) 10.45
9. CAJMERE - SAY U WILL (Original mix) 5.29
10. GREEN VELVET presents JAMIE PRINCIPAL – LALALALALA (NSIDE MY MIND) 7.45
11. CAJMERE & RUSSOUL – LET’S DANCE 7.11
As savvy listeners return to the joys of classic Acid House, revelers with their fingers on the pulse are taking inspiration from the energy and spontaneity of the late 80s warehouse / underground scene for a fresh run of quality events. Accordingly, a mere one day after our NYC celebration Richard Sen will be joining the absolutely killer line-up of A Little Summer Of Love to celebrate the golden age of UK House Music. Feel the love!
Saturday June 30th @ Westbourne Studios (242 Acklam Road, London)
A Little Summer of Love w/ A Guy Called Gerald, Noel Watson, Richard Sen + more
7:00 PM - 2:30 AM
Tom Moulton is a dance music legend and pioneer in the same realm as Walter Gibbons, whose work we explored on our Jungle Music collection a couple of years ago. When we found out that we had the opportunity to release for the first time on vinyl a rare Moulton edit of Bang The Party's "Bang Bang You're Mine" (which appears on Richard Sen's This Ain't Chicago collection), you can imagine our excitement. This is lovely slice of dance floor bliss, and a great example of the cross-polination of the nascent UK House scene with the American producers who helped inspire it. This version will be released on limited vinyl 12" and digital single on July 23rd, along with May's "Love Me Baby" and a new Richard Sen edit of K.C.C.'s "Future III."
It wouldn't do to put out a record like This Ain't Chicago without adding a live DJ experience, would it? For the lucky folks in New York City, Richard Sen will spinning classics from the early days of the UK Acid House movement at Cielo, home of one of the best sound systems in the city. And if for some reason you needed more incentive to come party with us, he'll also be joined by Dennis "Citizen" Kane, of Disques Sinthomme fame. If you were there for the original days of Acid, this should be a welcome return. If you missed out, now's your chance to turn that frown upside down!
Friday June 29th @ Cielo (18 Little West 12th St. NYC)
This Ain't Chicago Release Party w/ Richard Sen & Dennis "Citizen" Kane
We're going straight to the dance floor with this one! The midwestern American origins of House music have been widely celebrated, but there's something about the period when UK producers first started responding to the sounds making their way over from American shores that we find very special. On This Ain't Chicago, Richard Sen (of Bronx Dogs and Padded Cell fame) collects key tracks from the early rave days when acid house was starting to be heard clubs like Shoom, Spectrum, The Hacienda, The Jungle and others. Classics and should-be classics are featured on this two disc collection (due for international release on June 25th, July 10th in the US), which will also feature extensive liner notes, and a deeper look at some of the clubs, DJs and producers that pushed the UK deep into Acid territory.
1. BANG THE PARTY - BANG BANG YOU'RE MINE (Full Vocal remix)
2. WINDOW SMASHERS - FREE TO BE
3. JULIAN JONAH - JEALOUSY AND LIES
4. BABY FORD - CRASHING
5. MAN WITH NO NAME - FROM WITHIN THE MIND OF MY 909
6. RIO RHYTHM BAND - CUBA JAKKIN'
7. PLAYTIME TOONS - SHAKER SONG
8. JAIL BREAK - MENTALITY
9. EXOCET - SAFETY ZONE
10. RETURN OF THE LIVING ACID - TWIN TUB
11. CXX - THE COMFORT OF STRANGERS (Mix by Rhythm Doctor – Richard Sen Edit)
12. JULIE STAPLETON - WHERE'S THE LOVE GONE (remix)
13. ROHAN DELANO - INFLIGHT
1. SLY AND LOVECHILD - THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SLY & LOVECHILD (Andrew Weatherall Soul Of Europe mix)
2. ABILITY II - PRESSURE DUB
3. STATIC - IRON ORBIT (J. Saul Kane mix)
4. M. D. EMM - 1666 (Pyro-Maniac mix)
5. COLM III - TAKE ME HIGH (Mansion mix)
6. S.L.F. - SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT
7. PAUL RUTHERFORD - GET REAL (Happy House mix)
8. BIZZARE INC - TECHNOLOGICAL
9. US - BORN IN THE NORTH
10. ANNETTE - DREAM 17
A GUY CALLED GERALD – SPECIFIC HATE
THIS AIN’T CHICAGO – RIDE THE RHYTHM